During the baseball season, fans are exposed to the same ads dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of times. But only in the postseason are we all, as a nation, united in our annoyance at the same endlessly repeated ads, coast to coast. In October, instead of the usual spots for the local discount furniture store or shady ambulance-chasers that accompanied us through the summer, we deal with the big guys.
You will recall, from previous Octobers, “His father is the district attorney!” And also 2011’s “Wriiiitten in the staaaaaaaaars…” Most of these ads, for all their repetition, are gone from our conscious minds by December, which is generally a blessing. But some, because they are so annoying or just so odd, tend to stick. Several ads this fall are so perplexing that there is simply no ignoring them.
(There are some genuinely good ads this fall, too — the Samsung Galaxy watch commercial, for example, because invoking Inspector Gadget is an infallible strategy — but there doesn’t seem much point in spending any time on those. Clearly, they can afford plenty of advertising and do not need the free kind.)
So here are the four most confusing repetitive ads of the 2013 postseason. If the playoff results haven’t already driven you mad, let these help you over the edge.
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Easily the most irritating commercial of the MLB postseason to date, this is also the most baffling.
Who are these parents talking to? Are they broadcasting their message to the Internet at large? Why? Since Jeremy’s phone is on — this, after all, is the entire point — why not email, text or call him to inform him of the outrageous charges? Or, if they are paying his phone bill, as seems to be the case, why not call his provider and change the plan themselves? Also, did they have to be vaguely Jewish caricatures? Nothing about this makes a lick of sense.
Jeremy may be irresponsibly racking up charges, but it’s clear that his parents have become completely unhinged. Perhaps he went to Europe to escape them. In fact, do they even have a son? Are we sure? That could be a photo of anyone. Just saying.
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Geico: Maxwell and Ted
Maybe it’s just me, but I feel this ad has really gotten off easy this fall. I mean, this is one dark, creepy, nasty little commercial.
So an inexplicably anthropomorphized pig and a normal human man both have hail damage to their cars. The pig takes care of the insurance issues fast on his mobile device, and the human gets bogged down with poor customer service. So the pig steals the human’s girlfriend and goes jet skiing.
On the back of a jet ski — with, again, a taking pig — the woman yells, “Later Ted!” Are we supposed to believe that she left Ted because he spent too long on the phone trying to reach his insurance representative? And apparently she now feels vindictive towards him? And sleeping with a pig is her revenge? If so, isn’t Ted much, much better off without her? Setting aside her apparent fondness for interspecies relations; if she left him for a literal pig — and left him with unnecessary cruelty, at that — because he got delayed on an insurance phone call, just imagine her reaction when they dealt with an actual crisis! This ad thinks it’s about insurance and convenience, but really it’s about bestiality and the end of a relationship with a sociopath.
Instead of wanting to switch my car insurance, this ad only leaves me wanting to track down Ted and make sure he’s OK and that he understands that what happened here is not his fault but that also he needs to really work on that self-esteem, preferably with the help of a mental health professional, so that next time he can find a partner who treats him the way he deserves to be treated. I really hope Ted has a strong support network.
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Chevy: “A Man. A man and his truck”
An ad. An ad and its repetition. And its poetic phrasing, and the false impression that if you just buy the right kind of pickup truck maybe you’ll be closer with your son.
This ad would actually be fine if it hadn’t played during every single inning of every Division Series game, to the point of becoming nonsensical. A man… a man and his truck. A flan… and flan and its duck. A tan… a tan and its muck.
Also, because John Cusack narrates this, all I can think of is his character’s speech in Say Anything — I movie that I now realize isn’t as great as I thought it was when I was in high school, but is still pretty good:
“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.”
How’d that work out, Lloyd?
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To be clear, I do not think there is anything to ridicule in taking Viagra or other erectile dysfunction aids. But their ads are, almost without fail, super weird.
Because any explicit/direct/no-nonsense approach to sex is generally frowned on in primetime, Viagra and similar drug ads generally choose between two routes: innuendo, or indirect to the point of confusion. The all-time most hilarious version of the former has to be the Levitra spot in which a middle aged man actually tries and fails to throw a football through a tire swing, then thanks to Levitra is able to really nail that tire swing, if you know what I mean:
If you are using throwing a football through a tire swing as a metaphor for sex, ask your doctor if you are emotionally mature enough for sex.
Anyway, this Viagra ad goes the other way: classy to the point of inscrutable. With the sound off (which is generally the case on my TV when commercials are on), there is really no clue as to what this ad might be for. Mostly it’s just a guy wandering around an empty factory at night, looking smug. Presumably the idea is that guys who know how to “fix things” and “get things done,” like Mr. Fixing Printing Machinery Before Retreating To Fancy Corner Office here, know that they can and should deal with erectile dysfunction — while still being totally completely extra manly. Which is a fine message. But it’s still sort of strange that an ad for what’s essentially a sex aid focuses entirely on a smug guy alone in an empty factory. All we get is a glimpse at the very end of a photo, then a text saying “see you soon : )” before he goes home, presumably to sleep with Mrs. Fixing Printing Machinery Before Retreating To Fancy Corner Office. Nothing like wandering around an empty factory by yourself to get you in the mood.